Friday, December 22, 2017

Well, here I am, in Brownsville, Texas. 
I drove straight down here after getting the truck loaded. Only stopped 15 minutes for fuel and 30 minutes for required HOS/Hours of Service break. I got lucky in Houston - it was well before rush hour and I only hit a snag going out for about 5 miles.  Last two times weren't snags. They were hellacious, bumper-to-bumper traffic for 30 miles, at least. 

I didn't know if other drivers were coming down here or not, but last time I was down here, there weren't any trailers available and you can't leave until one is brought up from Mexico.  I figured I'd get here as fast as possible and snag one if there was one here, guaranteeing my trip home in time for Christmas.

Well, it turns out, the dude that was getting loaded in front of me when I arrived at the plant this morning was also being sent down here.  Well he was 2 hours ahead of me, because that  is - at the very minimum - how long it takes to load one of these tankers. We me in the parking lot as I was dropping the trailer.  He beat me here, he had seen me waiting and must have asked the manager if I was also coming down here, he hightailed it here.  He has a friend that I saw driving back up from Mexico.  That dude informed him I was on the run down there, best get there for the only empty trailer that was available when I left.

So, he got the empty - and I am stuck here for unknown length of time. There could be an empty here before I wake up in the morning - or it could be days. Or, as the other driver feared, it's the weekend and the verge of Christmas, may not be one here until next week, after Christmas. I know it's only Friday night and Christmas is 3 days from now, but I have heard of drivers since I came to work here having to wait here for days for a trailer to show up. 

Any other time of the year, I really could care less. For the money paid in detention time, which basically just means you are getting paid by the hour for waiting, it's worth waiting.  For as much money as it is, I will probably make getting a hotel room a habit on any occasion where I have to wait more than the 10 hour break, unless it's only by a couple of hours.  I'd do it tonight, but I have no idea about when one might arrive.  Definitely spend the night in the sleeper and hope beyond hope that there is a trailer sitting here in the morning or whoever shows up that runs the place has good news that one is on the way up.

Ugh, I have to go set up my inverter, computer battery almost dead. And I may have a LOT of time here, lol.  Jeopardy music begin....Okay. Done. I bought an inverter not realizing it has battery clamp hookups.  Well it didn't show it on the package. I bought the smallest one they had, which was still pretty high at 750 watts. I'm just powering a computer. Anyway, I have to go hook the thing up to the truck's batteries outside and run a cord into the truck. Not a big deal, really, but a permanent truck wil have one permanently installed.  I'm just hanging out until 90 days are up and see whether I make their cut. Their safety department is pretty anal about everything they want.  They can't track me right now, which is probably driving them crazy.  This is a rental truck, if they want a satellite link, they have to install one. They aren't going go dump that kind of money into a rental unless it's a long term situation, which it apparently is not.

Tho by now, by their statements, I should have already been in a company truck. No worries for me, this thing hauls @$$, has lots of power and is huge.  I have this truck parked in the back of the empty trailer parking lot, perched with a view of the entire place. If an empty shows up, I will see it come in, or if I miss it while sleeping, Ill see it in the morning.  Oh, and I have scrubbed this thing out, for the most part. Still some hidden areas left to go. Still a faint smoke smell, but nothing as atrocious as when I first stepping into this thing.

Okay, well, my main concern is getting home and when that will happen. I am on detention pay right now. As soon as I get here, if there isn't a trailer available, it's detention pay until one shows up.  That's guaranteed 10 hours right off the bat.  I could wait all day tomorrow and not bat an eye. Well I would just get out of here and do something, not sit in this truck.  The trailer is dropped, waiting for drivers to come up and haul down into Mexico. There has to be drivers on their way, they don't have us hauling this stuff to sit in a lot.  The other driver from our company is backed under the trailer that could have been mine if there had been any way to beat him here. But a 2 hour head start is impossible to beat unless the driver likes to stop a lot. 

I'm just going to hold out hope, A lot of trailers are brought filled up with Ethylene on a consistent basis down here. 

It's getting late, I'm tired.  Time for bed.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...